Sunday, June 15, 2008

Camlock Systems

Today I learned about cam lock systems. Yesterday I bought a pair of end tables that needed to be assembled. I also bought window treatments complete with twin rods. It had been a day of shopping and I was having fun. I sat down on the floor of the living room and pried open box number one. Each carefully packed piece was labeled 1A, 1B, and so on. The packet of hardware and the instructions were properly organized in a sealed bag. I heard my dad’s voice, “Read the Instructions!” as he had told us every year at every Christmas or birthday whenever we opened anything, Dad always said, “Read the instructions“. So I pulled out the instructions, and told myself to read them through, thoroughly, first. In the beginning, it was easy as all the parts were identified on a clearly organized chart. The hardware had a full page of identification, too. Next came the item identification, and then came a very strange page. The header said, CAMLOCK SYSTEM and under the header, (Important Information) What followed next looked like a quiz on an IQ test. I recognized the drawing of a screw driver, and an allen wrench (they call a key). ENSURE THAT THE CAMLOCK CASE’S ARROW IS POINTED TO THE HOLE. ALIGN THE CAMLOCK SCREW TO THE HOLE OF CAMLOCK CASE. USE PHILIPS HEAD SCREW DRIVER #3 OR ALLEN KEY #4 (PROVIDED) TO TURN CAMLOCK CASE CLOCKWISE ½ TURN. AFTER TURNING, THE CAMLOCK CASE’S ARROW WILL BE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. I flipped back to the hardware identification and saw that there were eleven camlock screws. Perhaps this will be evident as I proceed. I picked up where I left off and went through the rest of the instructions. These weren’t the kinds of instructions that you ‘read” per se, as they were just a bunch of diagrams and arrows and insets. OK. Enough is enough, I said, and started with Step 1. - which started off rather badly, as I had used “P. KD. Screw” when I should have used “O - Short Screw”. Frustrated with myself for such a stupid mistake, I decided I needed to break out the cordless screw driver for such a big job.

Using a cordless screwdriver may sound simple to most, but I never did understand all the dials and bits and sockets. I’m feeling pretty good that I understand how to make it drill clockwise and counter - clockwise. I can sew just about anything, mastering a sewing machine, patterns, stitches and bobbins. I can cook with a high level of skill - no recipe is too tough. This? .ha. I felt like a ten-thumbed moron. But I persevered. Until the screwdriver/drill(what-ever…) began humming the slow moan of a low battery. Back in the day of married life, I recalled how Pete would have at least two of these tools always with on charging. Now I understood why. I pulled the battery pack off and plugged in the charger, and poured a martini. (that’ll help, I rationalized!)

I opened the packages of window sheers. I am reluctant to call them drapes or curtains, as I don’t think they are either. I’m so excited at the beautiful rose and salmon colors and how they’ll look against the “Indian peach” color of the room. I measured and marked and did all that I could do without “the famous screwdriver”, even resorting to a manual screw driver at one point, but it was (out of alice in wonderland) either too small or too big. Thinking that perhaps Screwdriver had just enough charge for a few small brackets, I “borrowed” it for just a minute. With each little screw, it cried a weak moan.

So was the process for several hours. So was the situation of a few martinis. To think my understanding of camlock systems would ever come to me after the third ‘tini was insanity. I was determined to assemble this table, to the point where I used a rubber hammer and literally beat it together. I set the table up…it’s standing…it’s holding a lamp and holding its own. ..poor thing.

Today, I finished hanging the window treatments. They look BEAUTIFUL!! I love the rosey glow that emanates from the room as the sunlight gushes through the windows. I managed to dance around just about everything else today, dreading having to assemble table number two. The last furniture I bought that needed to be assembled, I was able to coerce my daughter, Sarah’s boyfriend in to do it for me. Today, I thought of asking Lauren to do it for me. I recall when we remodeled the kitchen, at the tender age of six, she was on the floor assembling kitchen cabinets with greater ease than eve n her father. But Lauren wasn’t home, and, well.. .it’s my project, so I bit the bullet. I put on some Mannheim Steamroller and dove in.

Today, I learned about camlock systems. My what clarity comes with patience and sobriety. Table two was assembled in no time, and with no leftover hardware!

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